Regular readers of this blog will know that I published a novel, Breaking Faith, some time ago, in paperback, with YouWriteOn. Part of that deal included me retaining the rights to electronic publishing. At the time of initial publication, I was uncertain where epublishing was going, and decided to hold back until things were a little clearer. Well, it is now certain that ebooks are very much part of the publishing scene; a growing part, offering great choice to readers.
The mainline publishers have, almost without exception, chosen to price their ebooks at around the same cost as the paper versions. This strikes me as unwise, unfair and unhelpful to all. The initial costs in setting up a book for paper publication are substantial, although, in the days of POD (print one demand, if you didn’t know) these have been substantially reduced. But the initial costs in transferring such matter to epublishing platforms is significantly less than those of traditional publishing. And the production of an ebook is almost without cost, once the transfer has been done.
As I hold the rights to electronic publishing, I looked at what was on offer from various online publishers. Smashwords seemed the most attractive option for both myself, as writer, and for readers. The company produces ebooks for all the major ereading platforms and has links with most of the major distributors. In fact, there is nothing to stop readers from purchasing direct from Smashwords; it’s as simple as clicking on the book on their website.
Pricing is always an issue. My paperback sells for £7.99 in UK on Amazon.co.uk and is priced at $10.79 on Amazon.com and these seem fair prices for a paper product, with all its associated costs for publisher, printer, warehousing, distribution, retailing etc and produces a small royalty for me as the author. I am a professional writer and I need to make a living from my work, where I can. So I have priced the ebook at $2.99 (this translates to around £1.86 at the time of writing). I hope you’ll think this is a fair price for my labour (Smashwords take a small portion for their business services, of course). If we are to continue to have some sort of reasonable quality in the world of the novel, the creator needs to be paid a reasonable price for the finished product, otherwise writers will go out of business. Those willing to produce work for either nothing or very little are sometimes in the process of making a name of course but, more often than not, they are simply desperate to have their words out there and this naive zeal too frequently results in poor quality work, which floods the market and generally devalues the worthwhile contributions made by others.
So, if you’d like to read Breaking Faith, and you have a PC or a digital reading device, you can now do so by visiting Smashwords. If you don’t have the software to read ebooks on your PC you can get free software by visiting http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/ There is also free software for downloading Kindle books to your PC or Mac .
Just one piece of information for those who buy the ebook: the paperback contains a small amount of explicit erotic content, which I have excluded from the ebook. I’ve done this because a couple of readers were uncomfortable with the sex and I want to give my readers choice. It’s much easier to adapt an ebook than it is a print version, so I opted to make the modifications to the ebook. The story, however, remains the same, as only what happens in the bedroom has been modified.